NEW CONCORD — James Heagen, superintendent of the East Muskingum Local School District, will resign to accept a position with the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System. He will begin his new job in Columbus on June 1.
Heagen said no disaffection with the district was associated with his decision.
“This is just a great opportunity in an area that I am very interested in,” he said.
A nine-year veteran of the district, Heagen is finishing his fifth year as superintendent.
“In the five years that Jim Heagen has been our superintendent, he has served the East Muskingum community extremely well,” said school board President Ken Blood, speaking on behalf of the entire school board.
“He inherited a legacy of excellence and built upon it. We’ve benefited from his ability to lead and manage the district.”
Beginning next month, Heagen will become the assistant director for administration of the Ohio Public Employees Deferred Compensation program.
The program is a supplemental retirement savings plan for all public employees.
Heagen developed an interest in retirement savings over the past three years, he said.
In an era of economic uncertainty, retirement plans have become more tenuous.
“I think I can help people and that’s very important with all of the issues today,” he said.
Leaving the district will be a bittersweet experience, he added.
“I’ve met a lot of great parents, a lot of good people” he said. “It’s the relationships that make it tough to go.
“I wasn’t looking to go to another district or to another job, but when this opportunity came along, I had to take it.”
Heagen and his family will continue to live in the community. His son still has another year before graduation from John Glenn High School.
He will leave the district with it in good standing academically and will help the board as it makes its decision about a new superintendent.
“While we are disappointed to see Jim leave, we wish him well as he enters this new chapter of his career,” Blood said.